Inside Higher Ed reports today that the Pew Research Center has issued a report, The Rise of Asian Americans, that is “quite positive” about their status. “Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States,” it begins. “They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success.”
Some Asians groups, IHE reports, are not pleased.
But a joint statement from the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund and the National Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Research in Education said that the data presented by Pew obscured continuing challenges facing recent Asian immigrants (as opposed to those here for several generations). The report “only reinforces the mischaracterizations of Asian American and Pacific Islander students that contribute to their exclusion from federally-supported policies, programs, and initiatives. Presenting such findings offer nothing in the way of positive changes for this historically underserved student population. This data only further burdens down Asian American students who have to fight against the ‘model minority myth,’ a misleadingly falsehood that deems them to be well-educated and financially successful.”
Wow, talk about not being able to lose for winning! A friend emailed the following response:
The pro-preference Asian groups always make it a point to say, “We hate being called a ‘model minority.’” They then go on to say, “We’re dysfunctional, too, just like blacks and Latinos.” Are they just saying this so they can get contracting preferences (which, unlike admission preferences, generally work in their favor)? Or are they just liberals who’ll say anything to support their stupid policies, even policies that discriminate against most of them?
Anyway, it’s just weird. You tell someone that he’s a good person, and he strenuously denies it, and insists that he’s no better than someone that he obviously IS better than. You can defend preferences for blacks and Latinos without denying that your group is more successful than blacks and Latinos: Jews do that all the time. Showing that Jews, not Asians, are closer to being the “model minority.”
One similarity of Jews to most (but not all!) Asian advocacy groups is that they both favor preferential treatment for others, putting themselves at a disadvantage.